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Sanctity as a Story: Literary-Studies Perspectives on Narrative Patterns


The paper undertakes a literary-critical approach informed by interdisciplinary approaches to explore the storywise patterning of the concept of sanctity. Dr Leleń suggests that sanctity should be considered not just as a motif but as a story-generating paradigm with a vast narrative potential. Because it is part of the world narrative heritage, the impact of this archetype is very far-reaching. She will argue that sanctity functions as a composite semiotic phenomenon, a symbolic entity as well as a re-modelling archetype. It affects the texts in which it appears and illuminates the stories that it entails, transposing the other central story elements and thus reorienting the storyworld as well as its the reception.

Dr Halszka Leleń

Colour head and shoulders photo of Dr Halszka Leleń
Dr Halszka Leleń

Dr Halszka Leleń is Assistant Professor at the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland, where she teaches British literature, Storytelling in literature and culture, and Introduction to literary studies. She is currently doing post-doc research on George Mackay Brown.

Her interests are: narrative patterns used in rendering the spiritual and the ethical concerns. Scottish and English regional literature and its spiritual and ethical paradigms; George Mackay Brown, archipelagic literature; theory of the fantastic; Logos/logos and values in literature. Member of: the Association for Scottish Literary Studies (ASLS), The European Network for Short Fiction Research (ENSFR), supporting member of Scholarly Group of Ethics in Communication at the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences; president of Olsztyn Research Group in Narrative.

She has published chapters and articles about George Mackay Brown, sanctity in literature, short story aesthetics, the fantastic; monograph: H. G. Wells: The Literary Traveller in His Fantastic Short Story Machine. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2016. Edited Sanctity as a Story: Narrative (In)variants of the Saint, Berlin: Peter Lang, 2020; co-edited: Święci i świętość w języku, literaturze i kulturze [Saints and sanctity in language, literature and culture], Cracow: Universitas, 2018; Old and New Mixed Together. Communication and Culture in the New Media Era, Olsztyn: University of Warmia and Mazury Press, 2016.